The FOUR talking points from PNE's 1-0 win over Swansea City

Preston North End rounded off the Easter weekend by making it four points from a possible six against two sides chasing promotion.

By Tom Sandells
Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 4:45 pm

Firstly, league leaders Norwich City came to Deepdale and only left with a share of the spoils before North End scored in the final minutes agaisnt Swansea City to deservedly take three points from Wales.

A Matt Grimes own goal was the difference, after Scott Sinclair's shot was saved and deflected back of the Swans midfielder into the unguarded net.

Here are four talking points from the game...

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Ched Evans heads the ball on against Swansea City.

1. Going until the last.

Twice in two games now North End have profited from their fitness and willingness to keep working right up until the final minutes, or even seconds in the case of the Norwich.

Brad Potts equalised in the final moments against the Canaries and PNE scored a winner against Swansea after the 90 minutes had elapsed.

This is no real surprise given that the Lilywhites are a tough bunch that generally don't give an inch to the opposition.

However that hasn't been the case this season and we have even seen instances where they've simply been outfought, which has been a rarity over the last few years.

With this season, there have been moments where you just feel like it isn't really a North End thing to do - scoring late on and gaining points is on of those.

It couples with the all round feel of the campaign, but they've just not been at it. There have been games that you just want to end, but with late goals now going in the favour of PNE interest will remain up until the closing seconds.

Taking victory late on is one of the best feelings in football and hopefully that adds to the early momentum that Frankie McAvoy has.

2. Frankie's first win.

Frankie McAvoy has made a strong start as temporary PNE boss, a draw against the league leaders and now a win against a side in the play-offs who at one stage were on the bring of a title race.

Not much more can be asked of Alex Neil's former first team coach.

The win was welcomed for obvious reasons but the fanbase were also happy to see their side win for the coach.

McAvoy has a tough job arresting the slide and breathing fresh life into the squad despite him being a part of the old regime.

So far though that looks to be exactly what he's doing, his side have been positive and aggressive and much more like the PNE we've seen over the last few seasons.

3. Versatility.

We've seen two good performances from North End over the bank holiday weekend, with two different systems.

Against Norwich they opted for a diamond midfield in a 4-4-2, at Swansea it was instead a 3-5-2.

Both systems yielded positive results and performances, but neither were done in a defensive way.

The diamond was to try and stop Norwich playing through North End but they felt they could create chances off the back of that, and credit to McAvoy he acknowledged they allowed too many chances and switched things up.

When coaches change things and it goes wrong they're generally said to be tinkering too much, but right now McAvoy deserves the praise for tinkering and finding success.

The two up top is certainly a welcome change too, as many fans had been hoping to see that and so far, with Ched Evans as a very able foil, it's going well.

4. Roll on Saturday.

It's not been the case for a lot of the season, but PNE fans are once again able to look forward to the upcoming games.

Granted, the next game is against Brentford so it's not exactly an easy run out, but it's hard to back against PNE when they're being aggressive and positive in their tactics.

North End often enjoy playing against the 'better' sides in the division as there is more for them to exploit as sides like Brentford want to put their owns tamp on the game and be attacking.

Particularly in the changing of possession, Preston can be dangerous.

When the Lilywhites are on the front foot and looking to have an impact on the game, even if it goes wrong, it's very easy to get behind the team and just enjoy what they're trying to do.

Brentford will be another very tough test but there's no reason not to fancy PNE getting something from it, even if they look a little out of it going into the closing stages.

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